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Why we Support The Santa Cruz 2
by NA-ELPSN ( naelpsn [at] tao.ca )
Monday Feb 25th, 2002 1:58 PM
This is a statement written by ex-prisoners and prisoner support groups in support of the Santa Cruz 2: Matt Whyte and Peter Schnell.
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Why we Support Matt and Peter: the Santa Cruz 2

We prepared this statement partially to address a harmful critique put forth by one activist but ultimately to express our full support for the Santa Cruz 2: Matt Whyte and Peter Schnell. We are an autonomous group of former prisoners from the Earth and animal liberation movements and people who engage in prisoner support as a revolutionary practice.

Matt and Peter were sentenced on January 28th to 14 and 24 months respectively for the charge of "possession of an unregistered firearm". Last summer, Matt and Peter were arrested in a Capitola, California park while assembling incendiary devices. They later admitted that they were going to use those devices to target dairy industry trucks at an undisclosed location. In court, Matt and Peter expressed regret for this and showed remorse for their action. We realize that people facing years in prison are often put in extremely difficult positions and thus may sometimes have to express feeling of remorse to judges and other state representatives.

We want to be very clear that we support Matt and Peter regardless of any difference of opinion in relation to legal strategy that we may have. Our support is not based on their agreement with our opinions but rooted in solidarity and a desire to take care of our warriors who get caught by the state. Although we do not impose our legal strategy on our allies, we also do not condone "snitching". [Case in point is Justin Samuel, an individual accused of ALF actions who informed on his co- defendant and thus does not receive support from most people in this movement]. That being said, we support the choices made by Matt, Peter, their lawyers and support team.

We also do not desire the creation of martyrs for our growing movement. The imprisonment of our warriors for prolonged periods of time is not something we want to encourage. Martyrdom is for those who truly no longer control their fate. It is the tragic consequence of state repression and the Earth/animal liberation movement in America should not be eager to see our already too few warriors added to the list. Let's not forget that another brother in this struggle, Free is serving 22 years for offenses with little difference from Matt and Peter. Individuals need to know that they will be supported if they get caught whether or not they plead innocent, whether or not they stand up in court and speak about animal liberation and whether or not we agree with what they feel they must do to get a lighter sentence. We desire our warriors out of prison and back in the struggle, not serving absurdly long sentences just because they made an aggressive statement to the court.

We want to commend Matt and Peter for the principled and intelligent manner that they have conducted themselves the last year awaiting trial and sentencing. Unlike other cases in the past, information was disbursed to supporters in a timely manner and there were not random people speaking on their behalf. The real proof though is the sentence: Matt, expecting up a minimum of 33 months got 14 months (and three years supervised probation), Peter, expecting a minimum of 42 months, got 24 (and the same probation). That any accused animal liberationist member could receive such a lenient sentence in post 9/11 anti-terrorist hysteria reveals success in their choice of legal defense strategy.

To the individual admonishing Peter and Matt for their statements to the court. It does nothing for Earth/animal liberationists or the cause of Earth/animal liberation to criticize or pass judgement on our friends who sit in jail, especially when that judgement and criticism comes from someone outside of jail. If there are some who still disagree, then express your dissatisfaction with actions of your own. Attacking warriors facing repression that is impossible to understand to those not under criminal indictment is simply hitting our warriors when they are already down. Supporting Earth and animal liberation prisoners means just that, supporting them always, not just when they do what you think they should do.

Free all Earth and Animal Liberation Prisoners!
Support the Santa Cruz 2!

North American Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
North American Animal Liberation Front Support Group
UK Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
Rod Coronado-Former Animal Liberation Front Prisoner
Jeremiah Bowen- Former Earth Liberation Prisoner
David Barbarash- Press Officer for the Animal Liberation Front and former ALF prisoner
Noel Molland, former GANDALF prisoner (UK)
Saxon Wood-Former GANDALF prisoner (UK)
Steven Booth-Former GANDALF prisoner (UK)
Adam Marshall-former Hillgrove Farms prisoner (UK)
Michael Collins-forer Mayday 2000 prisoner (UK)
Darius Fullmer, Convicted ALF activist (US)
Mark Eden-convicted Animal Liberation Front activist (New Zealand)
Gina Lynn-No Compromise magazine
David Hayden-No Compromise magazine
Megan Adams, TAO
Animal Defense League (US)
Animal Liberation Frontline Information Service (ALFIS)
Justin Stephens, Repressed Distro (UK)